American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Robert J. Eidlitz (1864-1935)

Robert J. Eidlitz was born in New York City on March 25, 1864. He was educated at both Cornell University, from which he graduated in 1885, and later at the Berlin Polytechnic, where he studied architecture. After completing his schooling, Eidlitz went to work for his father in the latter's building firm, Marc Eidlitz & Son, Inc. In 1928 Eidlitz was named president of the company, following the death of his older brother. Many of New York City's most prominent buildings—including the ANS's expanded Audubon Terrace facility—were built by Eidlitz's company. These buildings include the Federal Reserve Bank, Cloisters museum, New York Academy of Medicine, Yale Club, Astor Library, AT&T building, and New York Stock Exchange.

Eidlitz joined the ANS as an associate member in 1910 and served on the Council from 1916 until his death in 1935. He collected architectural medals, about which he wrote the standard text, Medals and Medallions Relating to Architects, in 1927. That same year the ANS awarded Eidlitz its prestigious Archer M. Huntington Medal Award for this publication

While on the Council, much of Eidlitz's efforts involved his love of medals. For instance, he assisted with the publication of a number of the Society's commemorative medals, including the St. Bartholomew Church, 4th of July, and Red Cross medals. In addition, Eidlitz served on the original 1919 committee which established the standards for conferring the Society's new J. Sanford Saltus Medal Award.

In addition to his work with the Society's medallic program, Eidlitz also was deeply involved in the construction and maintenance of the Society's Audubon Terrace facility. His firm built the expanded wing (later known as the "west hall") in the 1920s. And after his death, the ANS established the Eidlitz Building Maintenance Fund to help support ongoing building maintenance using a bequest from Eidlitz's estate. In eulogizing Eidlitz, Newell would opine that he was "one of the most valuable members" of the ANS Council, in no small part because of the "constant supervision and the very personal interest which he devoted to the erection" of the Society's headquarters.

After Eidlitz's death the ANS received, in addition to the maintenance fund endowment, Eidlitz's collection of architectural medals—a collection which later was described as "probably the largest collection of medals relating to architecture and architects."

Robert Eidlitz died in New York City on May 18, 1935. He was 71.

Eidlitz's numismatic bibliography consists of three works:

Medals and medallions relating to architects / compiled and edited and reproduced in great part from the collection of Robert James Eidlitz. New York : privately printed, 1927.

Medallic portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt. New York : privately printed, 1928.

"Medals relating to Thomas Jefferson." The Numismatist 37, no. 9 (September 1924): 525-533.

Archival Collection
Robert J. Eidlitz correspondence and photographic plates, 1925-1935
1.5 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Correspondence mostly relates to Eidlitz’s efforts to add to his collection of medals and plaques pertaining to architects (1925-1935). Includes informational and purchase requests sent to dealers and others in the U.S., England, Italy, France, and Germany, along with replies, some of which are in Italian, French, and German. Also includes correspondence and statements pertaining to bank accounts held with Guaranty Trust Company (London) and Deutsche Bank und Disconto-Gesellschaft (Germany), the latter referring in one 1932 letter to operating under “present emergency regulations.” There are a few scattered rubbings included. Correspondence with the American Numismatic Society (ANS) relates both to his work with architect medals and on routine membership matters. Also present are a set of letters from various organizations and individuals thanking Eidlitz for sending a copy of his book Medals and Medallions Relating to Architects (1927-1933), publications and clippings from several countries announcing the book (1927), and two clippings and a signed announcement regarding Eidlitz’s winning of the ANS’s Archer M. Huntington Medal Award. Photographic plates mounted on boards of medals used in the book make up about half of the collection.

Correspondents found in the collection

Corporate names

American Numismatic Association, 1932-1934.
American Numismatic Society (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art, 1934.
A.H. Baldwin & Son, Ltd., 1934.
Ball (Robert) Nachfolger (Muenzenhandlung und Medaillen-Verlag), 1932-1935.
Berliner Muenzblaetter, 1933.
Boston Medical Library, 1932-1933.
Brueder Egger (Muenzen und Antiqitaeten), 1930, 1932.
Cincinnati Numismatic Association, 1932.
Credito Italiano, 1931-1932, 1934-1935.
Deutsche Bank und Disconto-Gesellschaft, 1932-1935.
The Envo Company, 1932.
Guaranty Trust Company of New York (London & Paris offices), 1931-1934.
D. Holmberg's Mynthandel, 1932.
Helbing (Otto) Nachfolger, 1932.
Hess (Adolph) Nachfolger, 1932-1935.
Lenz & Janssen, 1932-1933.
Mayer (Wilhelm) & Frz. Wilhelm (Stuttgarter Metallwaren-Fabrik), 1932.
Musee d'Art et D'Histoire (Geneva, Switzerland), 1933.
New York Academy of Medicine, 1932.
Numismatische Gesellschaft in Wien, 1932-1933, 1935.
Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Royal Numismatic Society (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Santamaria (P. & P.), 1932-1935.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932.
B.A. Seaby, Ltd., 1933-1934.
Société des Architectes Diplomés par le Gouvernement, 1934.
Société Francaise des Amis de la Médaille (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Société Industrielle des Métaux Précieux (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Société Royale Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Société Royalé de Numismatique de Belgique (date range varies by correspondent listed below).
Society of Medalists, 1932-1934.
Spink & Son, Ltd., 1933-1934.
Treasury Department, U.S., 1934.
Witzig (John) & Company, 1931-1933.

Personal Names

Adams, H. C. (Miss), 1934.
Bach, Oscar B., 1932.
Bainbridge, William Seaman, 1932.
Blomm, Adrien, 1925.
Burgess, A.H., 1932.
Cahn, Adolph E. (Muenzhandlung), 1932, 1934.
Canale, Victor S. (Graveur en Médailles), 1930-1933.
Chantrenne, Jules (Société Royale Les Amis de la Médaille d'Art), 1932-1933.
Chapman, Henry, 1932, 1934.
Collins, William (Walter Kidde Constructors), 1933-1934.
Dautert, Karl, 1930.
de Lagerberg, J., 1933.
Delmonte, A. (Monnaies et Médailles Anciennes), 1932.
Dillen, J., 1935.
Elder, Thomas L., 1932, 1934.
Fejer, Josef, 1933.
Florange, Charles (Société Industrielle des Métaux Précieux), 1932-1935.
Florange, Jules (Monnaies & Médailles), 1932-1933, 1935.
Frick, Helen, 1933.
Gillingham, Harrold E., 1934.
Grabow, Ludwig, 1934.
Haines, G. C. (Royal Numismatic Society), 1932-1935.
Halle, J., 1932.
Hamburger, Leo (Muenzenhandlung), 1932, 1934.
Hansen, Harvey L., 1932.
Hiersemann, Karl W., 1932.
Higgins, Daniel P., 1932.
Iselin, O'Donnell, 1934.
Kiehn, Max, 1934.
Koch, ______ (Hauptmuenzamts, Wien), 1932.
Lagarde, H. (Société Francaise des Amis de la Médaille), 1932, 1934.
Levin, D. S., 1932.
Mabbott, Thomas O., 1933.
Majer, Giovannina, 1932.
Margraf & Co., 1933.
Mellinger, Elisabeth, 1925.
Merzbacher, Erwin (Muenzhandlung), 1932.
Mosser, Sawyer McArthur (American Numismatic Society), 1932.
Mueller & Sohn, 1932.
Murchison, Kenneth M., 1932-1933.
Newell, Edward (American Numismatic Society), 1933-1934.
Noe, Sydney P. (American Numismatic Society), 1932-1935.
Nussbaum, Hans, 1933.
Page, Alfred (Monnaies & Médailles), 1932-1933.
Paris, W. Francklyn (New York University), 1933-1934.
Rappaport, Edmund, 1932.
Richardson, A. Madeley, 1933.
Rosenberg, Sally (Muenzenhandlung), 1931-1934.
Sargent, Allston, 1932.
Schlessinger, Felix, 1933.
Schnelling, L.W., 1934.
Schulman, J., 1932-1935.
Seheur, Marcel, 1933.
Smith, Edric B. (Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research), 1933-1934.
Stephan, Theodore M., 1932.
Tinchant, P., 1935.
Trask, Lillia M.D. (Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research), 1932, 1934.
Van Deventer, Mrs., 1933.
Whiting, Giles, 1933.
Willems, Maurice (Société Royalé de Numismatique de Belgique), 1933.
Wood, Howland (American Numismatic Society), 1932-1935.
Zacher, L. Edmund (The Travelers), 1934.

Archival Collections